Monday, 14 October 2013

Burda of the month: 9/2013 #130 a.k.a the skirt that tried to break me

So I have finally finished the evil sewing mojo sapping skirt. Not my finest work, for sure, but this is one of those projects where the whole is more than the sum of it's parts, because the skirt was made purely to form a suit with the red blazer I made recently:

I never imagined myself wearing a red skirt suit, it always screamed 80s power suit stereotype to me, but after pinning quite a few lovely red outfits (such as this, this or this) I thought why not try it?
 
Plus I had some left over pieces of the red wool crepe I used to make the jacket recently that were just the right size to make a skirt. And since I needed to do a project from the September issue of Burda I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make the designer pattern - 9/2013 #130:

Just a simple, pegged skirt with a bit of interest at the back (let's not talk about that jacket though shall we?). I've made a similar style skirt a long time ago with great success from Vogue 7937 that with hindsight I should have stuck with and made something different from this issue of Burda!

So what went wrong? Well it started with me not reducing the skirt length by 5cm when I traced the pattern (a typical change I have to make for Burda patterns), which meant that those back splits were about 2cm long when I folded the hem up which looked quite silly not to mention not achieving the function of a walking vent. One of the suggestions at the ASG sewing day was just to instead make them splits rather than lapped vents, which is what I should have done because my next mistake was to use the very last bit of fabric to cut out new centre back panels with the jutting out bit for a mitred vent at the right length instead of the side back panels. This meant that the centre back piece now lays under the side pieces and looks a bit strange in my opinion because it's not how I've seen any vent made:
Burda-9-2013-#130-red-skirt

So I may just undo that again and make it into splits anyway! Then again no one will probably notice and I should just get over myself.

The other mistake I did was to over fit the skirt because the wool crepe has a bit of stretch to it and having it too tight really highlighted my pear shape in a very unflattering way, but that was easily fixed by letting out each of the seams a little bit. I also stitched in the ditch down those side seams to anchor the skirt to the lining because the lining seams kept showing through if it wasn't aligned perfectly. I think if I had underlined the skirt to give the lightweight wool fabric a bit more body it may have prevented the lining being so obvious underneath the fabric. Again live and learn.

Letting it out a little means the skirt is a little looser than the Burda model version:

but it's comfortable to walk in and I can sit in it without showing too much leg (this is a work skirt after all):
Burda-9-2013-#130-red-skirt

What's not shown in the line drawing is the deep hem - it is about 8cm deep which is a nice touch. I topstitched my hem since my thread matched the fabric almost perfectly and I wanted the deep hem to be a feature on the rather plain front. Overall the pattern is ok, nothing special, so if you want to make it go ahead but I for one shan't be tempting fate with this pattern again in case it tries to rob my sewing spirit again!

And did you all notice that polka dot top I'm wearing with it? Well that is a success story in it's own right - I salvaged it from another Burda of the month project and remade it into a wearable top that perfectly matches this suit. The cream with grey polka dot silk was far too nice to remain as this abomination I made in September last year (Burda 7/2012 #116):

Using a shell top pattern from Vogue 1826, an OOP Michael Kors pattern, which is a TNT of mine because I've made it quite a few times now (here and here) instead turned it into this with a bit of help from some left over pieces of the fabric (yay for holding onto scraps):




I used some buttons from the stash that happened to match perfectly as closure at the back seam rather than a zipper:

It's the perfect top to be worn under suits, and since I fully lined the silk fabric with a thin cotton shirting fabric it will be nice and cool to wear during summer and our so far very hot spring. Plus I've made a complete outfit so there's no risk of the red skirt or jacket becoming orphans and rarely worn - how very grown up of me!

56 comments:

  1. Love this outfit! So sorry, though, that that skirt was obstinate. I don't see 80s suit at all -- and I was wearing suits then. LOL ... looks very modern, feminine, and stylish!

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    1. Thanks Debbie. I just had images of awful red power suits in my head, but I think the shape and more subdued shade are what set this one apart

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  2. The skirt looks great - and the suit together looks fabulous on you. Also, that is a spectacular save with the top, it's beautiful!

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    1. Thanks! I was glad to save the top too, it's gorgeous fabric that shouldn't be wasted

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  3. Sorry to hear about your sewing problems with that skirt but it ended up being a very flattering piece of clothing, and it matches the red blazer perfectly, as if they were designed together! *^o^*
    Great job on the silk top, the first version wasn't that successful... ^^*~~
    It's nice to have a whole outfit ready when you're in a hurry in the morning!

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    1. I do tend to wear suits a lot because you're right - it's so quick in the morning to put them on and not mix andmatch

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  4. Love it! That's a great outfit to have ready for hectic mornings when you need to look nice but can't think to put an outfit together. Sorry about the skirt being obstinate - it seems it's usually the quick, simple projects that go awry!

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    1. yes it's funny how we can accomplish really difficult things but then the simple ones come along to bring us down a peg or two!

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  5. Awesome outfit! Nice save on the blouse, that fabric is so pretty

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    1. Thanks! The blouse fabric is so soft too

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  6. I'd keep the skirt how it is -- sometimes mistake make the best result -- I wear suits to work too -- and I think this is perfect - and a perfect color!

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    1. I think I will keep the skirt as is too, it's comfortable and looks ok so I guess that's good enough

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  7. I love the entire outfit but all the while reading the post, I kept thinking Kristy is wearing red and not gray! You look awesome in this suit and I'm so glad that you made the top to go with...it truly rounds it out and finishes it off! Fantastic job!

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    1. I'm doing my best not to wear grey all the time (just a little bit of the time!)

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  8. What a beautiful outfit! Now I want a red suit!

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  9. Beautiful! I'd never guess the skirt have you such trouble. It looks amazing. The top is a fabulous save! It looks perfect, on you and with the suit.

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    1. thanks Katie, I'd have never guessed that the skirt would have given me such trouble...

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  10. This is a lovely outfit! Each piece! Great job on finishing that terrible skirt! It looks great.

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    1. thanks - I wasn't going to let a skirt get the better of me

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  11. Love this outfit and I'm all for a coloured suit, forget black! So glad you salvaged your polka dot silk to make the perfect top for suit wearing and also for our mad weather at present.

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    1. thanks Sharon, I do find that a black suit is too heavy looking for warm Sydney days so red it is

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  12. Kristy. You've outdone yourself on 'sew' many levels.

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    1. Thanks Maria - you're "sew" funny!

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  13. Gorgeous. Such a great colour on you and whilst you mention reminiscing about 80's power suits, I missed that era so only see the good in this! Great save on the back kick pleat... and how fabulous are super deep hems? They give such a great weight and shape to a hem. A wonderful save on the blouse too - I sure hope you get lots of wear from this because it's quite the outfit! :)

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    1. you're right about the deep hems giving a skirt a different look, I'll have to remember to do them more often

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  14. You are a lot more critical of the skirt than anyone else would be - I love it and the whole outfit. Great save on the top too. And - I said it before - I love those SHOES. Great look.

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    1. Aren't we always more critical on ourselves than we should be! And I'm glad to have something else to wear with these shoes, I don't often wear them

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  15. I love the suit, the top, the shoes. The whole outfit is beautiful.

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  16. A really beautiful suit - all 3 pieces and you look very stylish and professional in it. Great work!!

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  17. I think it looks great for all the trouble you had with it. The vents look fine to me. I don't think anyone will notice if they're not typical ones.

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    1. yes you're right, the general population probably don't even notice vents or other details on their clothes the way us sewists do!

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  18. This skirt looks great, despite all the trouble it gave you and I love the way you restyled that top. Great outfit.

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  19. Hi Kristy - I don't think anyone will notice the vents, and where is the rule that says they have to be done a certain way? But I understand the feeling - if something is not how you want it, it niggles....

    The top is a great rescue - I wasn't blogging last year, but it was not a good look - glad you kept your sense of humour :) .

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    1. thanks Sarah - I almost didn't post that top last year but I can laugh at myself (now and then!)

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  20. Very nice indeed. Good rescue with that top as well.

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  21. P.S. - I hope that didn't sound too brusque - "where is the rule?" It's something I say to myself when I am struggling with sewing perfectionism :)

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    1. no not at all - you're right there are no real rules when it comes to sewing our own clothes

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  22. Glad that your skirt worked out in the end. It's a great suit. I have a red skirt cut out but sadly not enough left over fabric for a jacket. Red suit certainly beats boring grey or black.

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  23. Your suit looks really well tailored - the process sounds frustrating, but I'm sure any tiny imperfections (which no one else will notice) will soon be forgotten in the pleasure of wearing a lovely red suit :). Oh and that IS a great save with your polka dot top - very thrifty and clever!

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  24. The description sounds like a tragedy but the outcome is just gorgeous! You look lovely in this shade of red. I once had a similar problem with a vent after modifying the length of a dress. Since then I never do it starting from the hem, but rather change the pattern at the height of the thigh, and leave the bottom part unchanged. And you can always re-adjust the fit if you don't like it.

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    1. thanks Agnes for your good tip - I'll remember it for the next skirt I do

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  25. You wear red fabulously! Only we know if the trials and tribulations to make this great looking outfit! (And thanks for sharing how you overcame them!)

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  26. Gorgeous outfit! I adore the entire gestalt, and most of all the silk top with buttons along the back.

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    1. thanks! The pattern actually has a zipper in the back but I like the look of buttons better

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  27. Quite clearly you defeated the little sucker!! You look so wonderful and very professional in your power suit!! Congratulations. Cheers, Karen

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  28. Stunning! Kath in Bxl

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